Retail has been a tough space this year. While some have shown perseverance, most have been pummeled. One stock that's held up is Foot Locker (FL) . While shares are flat on the year, many in the sector would call that a win.

Shares are still up 24% over the past 12 months and investors are hoping Friday's before the bell earnings announcement is enough to send shares higher. 

The company could report a quarter like Children's Place (PLCE) , which beat on top and bottom line estimates, and overall was "remarkable," TheStreet's Jim Cramer, manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, said from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday.

How would Foot Locker's quarter be related to Children's Place in any way? Cramer explains that like Children's Place, a lot customers like to go to Foot Locker to try on their new kicks before buying them.

For adults, their foot size doesn't change much. But for teens and young adults, that's not always the case. Plus, different shoes have different feelings and before plunking down cash consumers want to know for certain they'll be comfortable.

Customers need to go into Children's Place because a child is constantly growing and changing sizes. It's not all the different than Foot Locker, Cramer reasoned. It's why these two companies have been able to dodge the mall-based bullet. Because customers can't just go online and cut out the retail-middleman.

Analysts expect Foot Locker to earn $1.39 per share on $2.02 billion sales.

At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had no position in any companies mentioned.

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